Spring Clean Up For Your Business

vincent-cieslikBy Vincent T. Cieslik, Esq.

New Year’s Resolutions have come, and in some instances, passed.  Spring is now upon us and there is no better time than now to give your business a Spring Clean Up.  Often times in business, we do not know what we need, until we need it, and then it may be too late.  You can be proactive by sitting down with a business attorney who can review your business model, evaluate your current invoices, contracts, and supply documents, and assist you in bringing your business up to date with the times.

Too many times, a party will find out only after they have not been paid by a key supplier, that they need to have an attorney fee provision in their contracts or on their invoices, if they want to recover the attorney’s fees spent chasing down unpaid bills.  Only when the agreement is before a judge, an arbitrator, or in the hands of a creative attorney representing your opposition, do you often find out about the weaknesses in an agreement.  What you thought was a “rock solid” non-compete provision forbidding your competitor from hiring your old sales persons, may not provide the protection you desire.  What you had hoped would provide for confidentiality of your customer list, your pricing models, and your key strategic goals, may not be sufficiently covered and protected.

While business people know their business and customers inside out, they are often (and hopefully) strangers to the court room where their business contracts will be interpreted, enforced, or rejected.

Our seasoned and skilled business attorneys and litigators argue these and similar business, employment and non-compete contracts on a daily and regular basis.  They are familiar with the cases which interpret those and similar contracts, and they can provide guidance on how your contracts and business documents may be improved.  During those consultations, we may be in the position to consider and evaluate other aspects of your business, such as loss reporting, loss mitigation, banking and regulatory issues which are not being adequately addressed, or which may require additional attention.  Social and media policies, no more relevant than they are today, may require updating so that your employees and your staff are handling social media consistent with your corporate mission, and within the bounds of best practices.

You would also be surprised how we can help you improve on other aspects of your business, which may protect your investment in the company, and avoid expensive litigation down the road.  One type of program that is gaining traction with hospital and medical care facilities concerns a more pro-active approach to identifying and resolving potential claims, which provides valuable lessons that other businesses and fields can learn from.  Hospitals and administrators are seeking to identify mistakes or poor outcomes early in the process, to apologize for injuries and losses which helps address  patient and family concerns immediately, and to make early settlement resolution a high priority before claims or lawsuits are filed.  We may be able to help you develop a similar communication and resolution program, which can in appropriate circumstances offer financial and other compensation to customers who are unhappy or feel wronged.  Promptly addressing their concerns, keeping the lines of communication open, and proactively seeking an early resolution may avoid bigger and more expensive claims down the road.  Hospitals, car dealerships, restaurants, and retailers all have liability risks which may be better managed through programs which provide for face-to-face personalized interaction, prompt communication, and early settlement discussions.  Employers and businesses which can quickly identify risks in their shipment process, in their human relations chain, or in their accounts receivable can avoid unfortunate and unintended expenses and losses.  Cleaning these issues up now may avoid problematic and expensive claims that could adversely affect your claims history, your standing in the community, and could help you avoid costly insurance premium increases.